MOSCOW – Real Madrid and Roma qualified for the Champions League knockout stages on Tuesday after Group G rivals CSKA Moscow fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Viktoria Plzen.
Viktor Goncharenko’s team needed to win at the Luzhniki Stadium to have any hope of reaching the last-16.
But second-half goals from Roman Prochazka and Lukas Hejda left the Russians bottom of the group, level with Plzen on four points.
They are both five points behind European champions Real and Serie A club Roma, who were facing off at the Stadio Olimpico later on Tuesday, with a match left to play.
CSKA got off to a fast start, with Nikola Vlasic slotting home a 10th-minute penalty.
Plzen thought they were set to equalise two minutes before halftime when Georgy Schennikov brought down Radim Reznik in the box, only for CSKA keeper Igor Akinfeev to easily pat aside Prochazka’s tame penalty.
However, midfielder Prochazka redeemed himself five minutes after the break with a superb finish, arriving off-balance to curl a neat pull-back into the top corner and stun the home crowd.
The Russians laid siege to the Plzen goal as the second half wore on, but it was the away side who struck the decisive blow with 10 minutes remaining.
Hejda met Patrik Hrosovsky’s fiercely delivered cross to snatch a dramatic win that keeps the Czechs’ hopes of Europa League football alive.
Meanwhile, 11 supporters from Dutch club Ajax were injured in a violence-hit Champions League fixture against AEK Athens in the Greek capital on Tuesday, a police source said.
Fans from both sides clashed before kickoff, and AFP photographs showed a handful of Ajax fans with blood streaming down their faces after they were hit by riot police attempting to separate the two groups of supporters at the Athens Olympic Stadium.
Further pictures showed a flare being thrown into the stand where the Dutch visiting fans were located and bursting into flames.
“Eleven people have been declared hospitalised” with minor injuries, a police press officer told AFP.
Greek news website Proto Thema reported Dutch fans had also been involved in scuffles in the centre of Athens. The report said no-one was injured in those incidents.
Ajax won the match 2-0 to qualify for the last-16 of Europe’s elite club competition.AFP